Interview or the Personality Test is the final lap of the Civil Services selection process. It carries 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written examination) as well as Interview would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various services keeping in view their ranks in the Examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.
The focal point of the interview as defined by UPSC in its notification is as follows: “The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his/her career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs.”
Thus, the interviewers have two major concerns in their mind:
Focus on the following areas from where Interview Panel generally puts up Questions
Question 1-Tell me about yourself.
Answer -Speak about yourself like name, qualification and previous job profile, etc.
Question 2-Tell me about your strength and weakness.
Answer-This question will help to buff your skills. Firstly, recognize your strength and talk about your experience, skills, knowledge, and abilities.
Then when you are going to tell you about your weaknesses you must answer positively. For example, you can tell like you hate lying, disloyalty, etc.
Question 3-Give a brief description of your hobbies.
Answer-you have to talk about the hobby so you must think well about your hobby and then give an answer politely.
Question 4-In the next 5 years from now, where do you wish to see yourself?
Answer -Do not forget that you are there to connect to that organization; your plans must be structured as you are going to connect to the organization for a long time and show your commitment to the interview.
Question 5-What did you learn from your blunders?
Answer -Answer in this way: everyone makes mistakes but there are only some people who really realize their mistakes and do not repeat their mistakes, I am also one of those persons.
Question 6-How much hard work have you done on your UPSC knowledge last year?
Answer -You must have to incorporate improvements that can be mentioned as positive self-improvements and also show your fancy in learning by listing hobbies that are non-work related.
Question 7-Why did you leave your previous job?
Answer-You may answer like this; you did not get a good chance to prove yourself or you want to countenance a new challenge. Show your attentiveness in the job profile for which you are giving an interview.
Question 8-Why do you want to join Civil Services?
Answer-This question is asked for checking your earnestness and your inclination. Interviewers get a good idea about the frame of mind of the applicant by scrutinizing his response.
Question 9-If you were the Collector or Superintendent of Police of Ajmer, Rajasthan, what would you do after the bomb blast in the city?
Answer- Some contextual questions like this are asked by the interviewers to examine your presence of mind. So, you must evolve a logical and foreseen thinker mind to countenance the IAS interview.
Question 10-What are your goals?
Answer- Speak about your aims and goals of life, what you desire to do after becoming an IAS Officer, what alterations you want to do to the national environment, and how you will manufacture them.
Question 11-To whom and to what do you credit your success?
Answer -To my father, who inculcated the joy of serving others and developed the aspiration for joining the Civil Services in me. To my mother, who is a role model to me, being a triumphant woman both in the professional and personal front despite the tremendous destitutions she faced.
To my husband, who encouraged me by his sensitivity to the persecuted and made me stronger to countenance the challenges that life has to offer. To my teachers, who made this learning process amusing, and to my friends who stood by me in the difficult times.
Question 12-Why did you choose Civil Services as a career?
Answer -I selected it for three reasons: To bring the change I desire to see in the world; the job offers the likelihood of huge satisfaction and the assortment of job assignments.
Question 13-How should one evaluate oneself before deciding to choose Civil Services as a career?
Answer-If you have a deep longing to serve and you derive contentment from non-monetary incentives, this is the precise path for you
Question 14-When did you deliberately start your preparation for this examination?
Answer -In my final year of college.
Question 15-When should one ideally start the preparation process?
Answer-At least one year before the exam.
Question 16-It is said that the Civil Services examination needs constant and sustained hard work. How did you keep yourself persistently motivated? What was your source of inspiration
Answer – Learning is fun and if one sups the joy of learning new things, it can make the exam preparation a consummated exercise irrespective of results. For instance, when I learned how and why the winds blow, earthquakes and volcanoes occur, why the third battle of Panipat fought, how the poverty line is calculated, etc. it gave me great joy. Secondly, this exam is a means to a big end. When one visualizes the joy of living the dream of becoming a civil servant, the endured hard work one has to put in becomes endurable
Question 17-In your opinion, how pivotal is the selection of an Optional subject for success in the examination
Answer-It is quite pivotal. Unless one has the bent for the subject it is very difficult to transcend in it.
Question 18-What should be the criteria for opting for them and how should one go about it? Should one choose the subjects studied at college or go for new ones?
Answer-The criteria should be based on the following: Interest, aptitude, availability of reading material, and guidance
The factors for one opting optional other than her or his graduation subjects are the wideness of the CSE syllabus, uncertain scoring pattern, and dearth of aptitude in the subject. If this is not the case, then one should definitely choose graduation subjects and cash in on the ease and experience.
Question 19- What are the areas in GS Paper I and II in the Main examination in which the applicant can score marks easily?
Answer- With the changing pattern of exams, it is really hard to describe the scoring areas.
Question 20- Did you make any mistakes during your preparations?
Answer-In the search for perfection, I squandered a lot of time. I did not take the 2020 attempt as I was not instantly ready to go through this exam process all over again.
Question 21-How many hours do you spend in the preparations regularly?
Answer-According to me, there is no standard prescription. The only thing that should be kept in mind is the fecund study and smart job.
Question 22-What is more dominant for this exam, intelligence, or hard work?
Answer-Intelligence plus hard work is smart work.
Question 23- Do candidates with a technical background have an advantage over general students
Answer -According to me, an intelligent, aware, and inquisitive person from any field should stand a good chance.